Insecure email communication still causing huge losses through fraud

Recent news has highlighted once again the risks caused by using insecure email communication to transfer confidential information, as this article shows.

The effect of online theft is clearly devastating for those that have had their money stolen – in many cases these losses represent life savings and cannot be recovered. Criminals posing as conveyancing solicitors, or alternatively hacking into private email accounts and falsifying bank account details so that the conveyancer transfers the proceeds from the sale of a property into a criminal’s account have become much more frequent in recent years.

To allow conveyancers to be confident that they are transferring funds into the correct account, Safe4 are offering the use of their highly secure information transfer service, into which clients or indeed any other party can enter bank details directly into designated fields. This completely eliminates the risks posed by using insecure email communication to transfer this information. It is not only email that is insecure – hard copy post and voice communication also carry risks of their own.

Safe4 are also working with other organisations that have to transfer funds into a client account at the completion of a transaction. These include art galleries, auction houses, and others who may be selling assets on a client’s behalf.

In addition to the storage of all data in UK-only data centres accredited to ISO 27001, Safe4 have just completed another penetration test carried by an independent UK Government accredited agency. Again this has confirmed the high levels of security offered by using Safe4 as the means of transferring confidential information between parties that are involved in high-value transactions. Compliance with the SRA guidelines for cloud computing gives conveyancers additional confidence that information is being transferred between parties with minimum risk.

For more information on how Safe4 can help your organisation to improve the protection of clients’ money, please contact us.

Beware of public Wi-Fi!

Paul Holland has published an interesting post on LinkedIn, highlighting the risks associated with using public Wi-Fi.  To quote Paul’s post:

“An investigation conducted in London has shown the ease with which personal data can be hacked when the target is using public Wi-Fi. Security and privacy software company F-Secure teamed up with penetration testing expert Mandalorian Security Services and the Cyber Security Research Institute to conduct the test – in this case, hacking into the devices of three politicians.

The politicians, deliberately selected from the most powerful chambers in UK politics, were Rt. Hon. David Davis MP, Mary Honeyball MEP and Lord Strasburger. The exercise was carried out with the permission of the politicians who, despite holding important positions within the different parliaments, admitted that they had received no formal training or information about the relative ease with which computers can be breached while using public Wi-Fi – a service they all admitted to using regularly.”

It is important to note that when using Safe4, all interaction with our service is fully encrypted, including the internet link from your device.  Even when using public Wi-Fi, Safe4 communications cannot be intercepted – as opposed to the huge risks that exist when using open email systems.

Another bumper month for Safe4

June 2015 proved to be another successful month for Safe4, with a record number of new users registering for the service, and 100% availability once again.  The uptime record of Safe4 is now amongst the best in the industry, and coupled with very high levels of security this makes Safe4 the ideal choice for any organisation that needs to deliver information securely to parties both internally and outside its own IT domain.

For more information on how Safe4 can help you to achieve total security combined with 100% reliability, please contact us.  We will be very pleased to assist.

More uptime availability and performance success for Safe4

During January 2015 Safe4 maintained 100% availability of the service except for a short period  when our hosting partner applied a critical security patch to the infrastructure.  Since we take the security of our customers’ information very seriously it was felt that applying this patch was essential. The downtime was scheduled for overnight at a weekend, so it is hoped that it did not impact any of our users. Please accept our apologies if you were unable to access the service during this time.

Availability

We hope you are pleased with the performance you are seeing when using the system. In order to help target improvements Safe4 tracks the time taken to display pages in the system. Since there are a number of factors that can cause performance problems we have implemented an approach which measures the time it takes for you to be able to use a page. This is the most realistic measure we can find.

When developing Safe4 the team treat any page that takes longer than 2 seconds to load to be a defect. This is our performance target.

We are pleased to advise that during January the average (median) page load time experienced was 0.89 seconds. This is well under our target so it is hoped that we are meeting your performance expectations.

Performance

If we examine individual geographies we can see the impact of the internet on the performance.

  • Performance in the UK, where our data centre is based, is averaging out at 0.78 seconds.
  • Performance in South Africa is averaging out at 1.5 seconds, despite the extra network connections we are pleased to be getting great performance here.
  • The slowest average performance at 1.6 seconds seems to be for users in the United States where increased network delays seem to be adversely affecting performance.

Safe4 will continue to monitor performance and availability of the service to ensure that we meet the demands of your businesses. Look out for updates to these charts in the coming months.

Pitmans New Homes adopts Safe4

Pitmans LLP of Reading, London and Southampton looked for secure online document delivery to be a key component in the continuous improvement of their market leading property and conveyancing solutions. Pitmans New Homes adopted Safe4 to give them speed and reliabilty of document delivery in compliance with regulatory requirement and best practice. They saved money too!

Now Safe4 is being rolled out more widely within Pitmans.

A case study has been written to provide more details on how Pitman’s benefits from Safe4.

Reporting of carbon emissions is becoming an issue – and soon

New legislation will shortly be putting pressure on many organisations to reduce their carbon footprint.  This applies to small and medium-sized companies too, if they are suppliers to either public-sector organisations, or corporates that fall within the scope of the UK Carbon Reduction Commitment requirements (annual energy expenditure of more than £500,000, or listed on the LSE main exchange).

But before any organisation can start to think about reporting on their carbon footprint, they must of course measure it – what is the starting point?  This will almost certainly involve the need for specialist skills and tools – hence the importance of the partnership between Safe4 and Co2conut.  Safe4 can assist with bringing down carbon emissions by reducing dependence on paper and hard-copy information deliveries; Co2conut can provide expert guidance, and access to tools that will help with the accurate measurement of current emissions.

How does this issue affect your business?  We would be glad to hear from anyone who has a view on this issue – please post your blog entry below.